My Own Private Adobo
A long-ago cooking lesson from my mom takes on new meaning.
So I got married. Like, this past weekend. Only when my family wished me happy birthday did I remember it was also my birthday. What does all this have to do with adobo? Everything.
I don’t consider myself skilled at cooking by any means. Part of why I like being on the Frolic team is because it gives me a reason to eat out often. And I much prefer eating out. The only thing that I can cook with any confidence is adobo. Which I learned from my mom. A skilled home cook, she didn’t measure or have a recipe. I stood next to her as she tossed ingredients into the pot, listening to her explain what this was and that was. How she put in “this much” until it “felt” right. It was a bit overwhelming for my elementary school mind to comprehend.
When I finally tried to make my own adobo, I just copied what looked like the same amount of ingredients my mom used. I poured the shoyu into the pot, then a few splashes of vinegar, followed by chicken and everything else. Somehow, it turned out OK, maybe because my mom was there when I made my first batch. So adobo to me is something I learned from my family. And now that I’m married, I may have a family of my own in the future.
Over the years, I’ve modified my mom’s adobo into something that suits my taste a bit more. It’s not for everyone, as it can be a bit on the salty side, but I like it. Sometimes I use chicken, sometimes pork. In this case pork. Here’s the recipe:
• 1.5 lbs of pork • 3 cloves of garlic
• 1/4 cup shoyu • 2 bay leaves
• 1/8 cup vinegar • 1/2 cup water
• A dash of pepper
Assuming you add rice, this makes enough for two people. I recommend you drizzle the broth over the rice for added flavor. Also check your blood pressure after eating. I told you it was salty.
So adobo to me is all about family. Passing down the family tradition, from one generation to the next. And having it evolve over time. I couldn’t pass down any traditions without a family of my own. But now I have a wife. And maybe in the future, we’ll have children. If and when that happens, I’ll be ready. Ready to teach them about our family’s adobo.